From the Khan household to the Khurana household. How madder does it get now?
Both the households are mad but in different context (laughs). The Khan household was dark, murky underworld with a weird sense of humour, a bit dumb sometimes. They had their own quirks. It was a mad and an eccentric household. Everybody in the Khurana household is unapologetically mad. They are a bunch of not-so-caricatured Punjabi family and their humour is insane. They aren't annoyingly loud. We've shot in Ludhiana for Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana and Punjabis there have their own class of humor.
A food film is quite not right coming from Anurag Kashyap, is it?
(Laughs) You are right. Everyone, including UTV was shocked. Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana is the first Anurag Kashyap film that you can go to the theatres with your family and see it. There are no 'gaalis' (laughs). It's a bizarre food film. There are a lot of family and food discussions that takes place in the film and inherently it will appeal to one and all. The film doesn't go in an uncomfortable space. There will be a sheepish laughter on everyone's face.
I'm sure in your family too there must be a secret recipe. Tell me more!
Yes there is. In fact, there is always that secret recipe in each household. My mother cooks this amazing 'Aachari Chicken' and she refuses to tell us the recipe. By the way, my mother is in town and she cooks yummy chicken biryani too. And her's will be better than what you've had in Mumbai (laughs). If you are lucky, you may get some (laughs). But all people who cook and like cooking and feeding people, they always have the 'midas touch' in their cooking. It's their own creation. Even if two people try and make a simple 'daal', their tastes will differ. The more delicious one will always have that 'special touch'. This film is about that one ingredient. As it says – 'Chaar Aane Ki Murghi, Ek Crore Ka Nuska'.
I make a very nice garlic mashed potato. Yes, I know it doesn't sound tempting or too out-of-the-world types but you have to taste it to believe it.
Kunal Kapoor has two love interests in the film, right? You and Kukkad?
You have to ask Kunal this (laughs). But I'm sure he'll say it's me. Kunal is a fabulous co-star to work with. It's very rare to see any actor get so involved with the film. In fact, I was possibly the last person to be cast in the film, almost three weeks prior to the shoot. Kukkad was cast before me (laughs). I don't have a drop of Punjabi blood in me but Kunal, the director Sameer Sharma and Sumeet the writer, all of them have been living with this film for about two years now. Kunal was also involved in writing and ideating. Even when we were not shooting, he was talking about the film and the scenes we could do better. The most amazing feedback I got when I showed a few scenes of mine to my friend was – 'Wow, Kunal is looking so handsome' (laughs).
Thank you! But yes, I do consider myself lucky. I think there are so many people who are better looking, skinny and talented than I am. I don't know what the recipe or the X Factor in my case is but if I really had to break it down, what sets me apart is that I try and be real. I don't try and be poised and be somebody else. Probably that's what makes one interesting as a person. Someone like Nawaz, I have immense respect. He has not had it easy but look where he is. He is such a dedicated person. I wouldn't do that. I can't wait for fourteen years. But yes, I have struggled mentally before coming to Mumbai.
Talk to me about Anurag Kashyap the Producer
Anurag invests in creativity as a producer. He is the most non-interfering producer to have on and off the sets. He is always there as a creative force and bounce off ideas. He motivates people and how! He doesn't hand hold you but not one day he visited Punjab. His trust in us is immense. The best compliment he gave to the director Sameer Sharma was when he told him that he had made an honest film and didn't try to be intelligent or fancy. Anurag is able to see ones vision as a filmmaker. He makes a strong statement and that's why he is coming up with a range of films like Shaitan, Aaiya, Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana.
When do we see your sexy side on the MAXIM cover? When will men drool?
(Laughs) Honestly, I didn't even plan the FHM shoot. It was a risk in a way. It was a bold cover but wasn't intended to be so. I hate being put in a box and I want people to know that. FHM was my answer. I mean, I am much more than just a 'bahu' from Gangs of Wasseypur. I want to be everything I desire to be and 'different' is the word.